Denmark has become the first country to stop using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. Yesterday, Danish Health Authority Director Dr. Soren Brostrom said that serious side effects were found in a small minority of people who received the vaccine.
Dr. SB: "We have - we suspended the use of AstraZeneca in Denmark on the 11th of March, out of an abundance of caution because of these rare side effects. In the month that has passed, we have intensively investigated the signal with national and international experts; we are now convinced of the plausibility and the casualty of this rare syndrome of VITT. It is a very serious case we also have a risk estimate of 1 in 40,000 of vaccinated."
However, The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have urged countries to continue using the vaccine.
In Bulgaria, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said he will not be a candidate to lead the country’s next government. Borissov’s party has led Bulgaria for most of the last 10 years. But in the April 4th elections, they lost a fifth of its seats. This was allegedly due to public anger over corruption in Bulgaria. If Borissov's GERB party does not win, the new, anti-systemic party of Slavi Trifonov, will likely be asked to try to form a government.
In Haiti, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe announced yesterday that he has resigned. Haiti is preparing for an upcoming constitutional referendum and a general election later this year. Jouthe, who served as prime minister since March 2020, did not say why he was resigning. Haiti is currently facing a rise in killings and kidnappings.
In the United States, President Joe Biden spoke at the White House yesterday about his plans to remove US soldiers from Afghanistan.
Biden: " I've concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home. War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. We were attacked, we went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. Bin Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is degraded in Iraq - in Afghanistan - and it's time to end the forever war."
In Niger, it was confirmed yesterday that at least 20 children died in a fire that took place in their school. The fire started late on Tuesday afternoon when the children were in lessons. The flames blocked the school gate, so most students had to escape over a wall. Most of the students who did not escape were young children attending the school's nursery. In total 28 classrooms were completely destroyed.
In Sierra Leone, junior doctors have gone on strike. The strike is over an alleged assault on a doctor working at the country’s main hospital. The doctors' association said one of their female members had been physically assaulted by senior government officials on Tuesday. In Sierra Leone there has also been strikes by cleaners that left dirt all over the hospital for more than a week.
In Pakistan, the government plans to ban the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party. The party has held days of protests after the arrest of a far-right Muslim Leader, Saad Rizvi. Protests continued yesterday, with Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirming that at least two policemen had been killed.
In Sri Lanka, yesterday the government banned 11 Muslim organisations. This includes Daesh, the Islamic State Group and al-Qaeda. They have been banned a week before the second anniversary of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings. The bombing killed 279 people. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said anyone linked to the group faces up to 20 years in prison.
In India, More than 1,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a major Hindu festival this week. Huge crowds of people who were mostly not wearing masks entered the Ganges River to get rid of their sins. India is facing a second wave of coronavirus infections. Yesterday, India had more than 184,000 new cases.
And finally, In the United States, Ludwig Ahgren broke the Twitch subscription record after streaming for 31 days non-stop. Viewers watched him eat, game, and even sleep.
And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. Give your opinion on any news story in writing or by sending an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts and more. Leave us a review on your podcast app and we will say thank you to you on the podcast! I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.